“Because the governor has mandated masks, we ask that if you conscientiously object to wearing masks, that you just don’t come to church.”
Many God-fearing followers of Christ are hearing these words, or words like them, coming from the lips of their pastors these days. They are being told they are not welcome at their own church, in their own church families. They are being excluded from fellowship and worship. The justification? Well of course, Romans 13 tells us to blindly obey the government no matter what.
What I hear these pastors saying is that it is okay for you to lie as long as you are obeying the government. It is okay to give false pretense because you have been told to do it by a politician. It is okay for you to bear false witness. After all, it’s the kind thing to do for your neighbor.
You see, I’ve done a lot of research on this topic. Medical experts (real experts, not politically motived experts) say, “Cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE)” (Singleton, 2020). Furthermore, “Surgical masks are better than cloth but not very efficient at preventing emissions from infected patients” (Singleton, 2020). Additionally, medical experts suggest that face masks can actually pose significant health risks to people who are not sick (Blaylock, 2020).
For me to wear a face mask knowing what I know is lying. I know they do not work, especially not the little makeshift cloth masks that everyone is wearing. You know, the masks you see nearly everyone wearing which they believe is providing protection against the “monster” virus. I know these face masks can make people sick. There are countless research studies that point to these concerns (cf. the source of scholarly research studies at Blaylock, 2020). If I wear a face mask knowing these things, I am bearing false witness to my neighbors.
I’m not the kind of person that just blindly does what I’m told by whatever person allegedly in a position of authority over me tells me to do to. Scripture tells us to test everything (cf. I Thessalonians 5:21), so I do. This is why God gave us his Word. Everything must hold up against the Word of God in context. Passages of Scripture do not exist in a vacuum apart from other portions of Scripture. If this were true, I could interpret a passage of Scripture to fit into the narrative I need it to at any given moment in time. This is not rightly dividing the Word of Truth (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15).
I say this because while Romans 13 tells us to be subject to the governing authorities, Scripture also tells us not to lie (cf. Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 6:16-19, 12:19, 12:22, 19:5, 19:9; Psalm 101:7; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9-10; I John 2:4…need I go on?).
The government is telling you to wear a mask to protect those around you…to be unselfish…to be kind…to stop the spread of a virus. However, scientific research suggests mask wearing does just the opposite of what politicians are saying. Therefore, if I wear a mask because the government tells me to, I am giving credence to the government’s narrative for wearing a mask which is a complete falsehood based on what is known by experts who actually practice medicine in the real world! I am telling those around me to believe the lie. I am telling my neighbor that I agree with the false narrative. I am suggesting that I believe what I am doing is protecting others when it is in fact only giving them a false sense of security. I am encouraging them to continue to live in fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear (cf. 2 Timothy 1:7).
So no, pastor. I am not going to lie to obey the government (not to even mention that these mandates are not laws, so they are not being established following the governing authority of the Constitution of the United States…but that is an entirely different story). I am not going to bear false witness to others and call it the Christian thing to do. And I can’t really believe the shepherds of the flock are letting the wolves dictate what goes on inside God’s holy church, although I am not surprised. It has been done before. “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah” (Jeremiah 23:14 King James Version).
Blaylock, R. (2020). Neurosurgeon: Face masks pose serious risks to healthy individuals. Principia Scientific International. Retrieved from https://principia-scientific.com/neurosurgeon-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-healthy-individuals/
Singleton, M. M. (2020). Mask facts. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Retrieved from https://aapsonline.org/mask-facts/?fbclid=IwAR1kdBo4vFBlzLVfwGi8US7Mv0JV2ROPkBLcIEQOSjzYWO1ZKCclviq4hJw